I am going to be blogging a lot more in upcoming months I think - both here and in my personal, private blog - because I have a lot of things I want to work on within myself.
My ongoing to-do list:
-be less co-dependent on those I am in romantic/sexual relationships with
-be less dependent on validation from others
-be less willing to put myself out to make things work if others aren't making effort
-be more forgiving of the human condition and remembering that everyone's problems/thoughts are the most important to them - and that does not mean people are not compassionate
-get back on a regular exercise schedule
-go out of my house unrelated to work, errands, or kids at least twice a week
-broaden my circle of local, within-my-city, friends
-be open to dating around more
-speak clearly about what my wants and needs are as they arise, rather than stewing over them
-stop assuming the worst of everything (i.e. OMG I Haven't heard from boyfriend in a couple days, clearly he doesn't think about me at all and I don't matter at all, or, OMG my friend hasn't responded to my email all week she must not want to be my friend anymore)
As I posted in her thread, I just read nycindie's blog start to finish this week, and I must say that it made me think a lot. Her approach to her lover-friendship with Lively is something that I could learn a lot from, and would probably greatly enhance what I have (don't have?) with Marty. I realize that a lot of the pressure on that relationship was put there by me. And I realize a lot of that was me feeling guilty about being a married woman who was sleeping with another man. He had to be my boyfriend! The romance must be more important than the friendship! I don't just "do this" with friends, I mean, it's SEX! gasp!
I don't judge others for having a wide variety of partners, but I judge myself for having two partners concurrently. Having had a total of four partners my adult life.
I keep on expecting Marty and I to be more like Derrick and I, or himself and Kitty. Why? They live together and have a kid. We live together and have kids. It can't be the same. It won't be the same. My expectations have been neither realistic nor fair.
I do think there are some things it is okay for me to expect, and I will be privately writing about it in more detail so that when an opportune time presents I can speak about it with Marty. I think it is okay for me to expect to feel valued. I think it is okay for me to expect some level of considerate behavior. I think I should feel safe to express my emotions and not worry that additional connotation will be attached to them. I think it is okay for me to expect at least a couple "solo" dates a month, as schedules permit, rather than all our get togethers being group/family be default. But I think it is fair of me to understand that most of our time WILL be group/family oriented. That is the reality of having kids, especially since we both have kids the same age who get along.
I think it may be very good for me to open up and look for another dating friend who lives closer to me, maybe even one who does not have kids so I don't have the exact same situation I do now, but I admit, I am terrified if I start looking actively, so will he, and we already get so little time together. Which is silly, because we aren't exclusive. He could be looking anytime he wanted to. I think I got a false sense of security since early on we both declared we were done looking, we wanted quality over quantity, didn't have a desire to have a bunch of different partners, etc.
But the simple truth is that we aren't partners. I would be open to having a deeper relationship, but I don't know if that will ever happen, and I can't force it to happen. I do know that I value what we have had, and I have hopes that if I can keep my head on straight, I can continue to enjoy it. And part of that is speaking up when I feel like he is treating my poorly. But part of that also, is not blowing everything up out of proportion and letting my internal, self-conscious, depressed monologue color everyday dealings.
A friend of mine has been dating a man casually for 2-3 months and it blows my mind that they don't really talk at all between dates. They see each other generally once a week, and their contact between dates is a couple texts to set up the next date. I get upset if I don't get to spend hours a day on chat with Marty, I miss the video chats we used to do, I yearn for phone calls (he's not a phone person). Why do I need such constant contact? Well, I admit part of it is simply that I know he's home and his default is to be online. But again to be honest with myself - what do I have to talk about for that long, for that frequency? Nothing really. A few kid or work anecdotes, maybe something about a game we play or a new movie.
I keep comparing this to previous relationships that have had distance involved. I would spend hours and hours on instant messenger, on the phone, etc. But when I think back to the content of those conversations, well... how do I say this nicely? There was none. It was fluff. It was waxing romantic about wanting to see each other in person again, and pet names, and sexy talk.
I may not talk to Marty as often, I may rarely have his undivided attention as when he's on chat, he's either at home with his son, or at work, but we talk about our lives. It may not be romantic, there are no pet names, flirting is awkward if best and rarely occurs. But we talk about our kids, and our work, and anything new in our lives. We talk about our struggles and our goals and our joys. We have substance. And I do catch myself at times holding things back, so there is something left to say on dates.
Maybe this is another difference in what makes a mature "grown up" relationship (says the "old" 30 yr old... ha!). Whereas in my more youthful dalliances we had the constant contact and fluffy words, now things cool down from the excitement in-each-others-pockets phase quickly into something that could, just maybe, be more long lasting. IF -- it is not stifled. Stifled by drama, by high expecations, etc.
More to come soon I am sure, as I continue to ruminate.
"This, too, is sacred."
In a triad with A and B.